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Local architects squeezed out of Toronto rail scheme

15 August 2013 | 0 Comments

15 August 2013

The decision to have one mega contract for the construction of a new light rail transit system in Toronto will squeeze out local architects, a local association has complained.

The $1.67bn Eglinton Crosstown project will add a 19km light rail line through Toronto by 2020, but the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) says the decision to bundle all work into one contract puts the job out of local design firms’ league.

“Breaking up the Eglinton Crosstown into multiple smaller projects would provide more opportunities for Ontario architects to contribute to the cultural fabric of Toronto, as well as maximize the province’s investment in the city,” said OAA president, Bill Birdsell, adding: “Regional architects live with the people they are designing for and understand the communities they are building in.”

The $1.67bn Eglinton Crosstown project will add a 19km light rail line through Toronto by 2020 (Wikimedia Commons)

Crosstown will be owned by state agency Metrolinx, while another state agency, Infrastructure Ontario, is involved in planning and procurement.

Infrastructure Ontario said Metrolinx is committed to using local firms that employ professional engineers registered in Ontario, and added: “Numerous local professional engineering consultants were used to develop the Crosstown underground stations and surface stop design concepts that will be used in the Crosstown RFP for the balance of the project implementation.”